Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History

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Overview


Combining tales of devastating epidemics with accessible science and fascinating history, Deadly Companions reveals how closely microbes have evolved with us over the millennia, shaping human civilization through infection, disease, and deadly pandemic. Beginning with a dramatic account of the SARS pandemic at the start of the 21st century, Dorothy Crawford takes us back in time to follow the interlinked history of microbes and humanity, offering an up-to-date look at ancient plagues and epidemics, and identifying key changes in the way humans have lived--such as our move from hunter-gatherer to farmer to city-dweller--which made us ever more vulnerable to microbe attack. Showing that how we live our lives today--with increased crowding and air travel--puts us once again at risk, Crawford asks whether we might ever conquer microbes completely. Among the possible answers, one thing becomes clear: that for generations to come, our deadly companions will continue to influence our lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199561445
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 275,734
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy Crawford is Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, where she is also Assistant Principal for the Public Understanding of Medicine. She was awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to medicine and higher education.

Books by the same author:
The Invisible Enemy: A Natural History of Viruses

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1

1 How It All Began 9

2 Our Microbial Inheritance 29

3 Microbes Jump Species 54

4 Crowds, Filth and Poverty 82

5 Microbes Go Global 112

6 Famine and Devastation 139

7 Deadly Companions Revealed 161

8 The Fight Back 184

Conclusion: Living Together 211

Glossary 216

Notes and References 228

Further Reading 238

Index 241

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